Fishing

Fisherman stands on shore where the muddy Paria flows into the Colorado River
Waiting for the big one

NPS

Lake Powell created a new realm for anglers. Before Glen Canyon Dam was built, the Colorado River was so full of silt that only suckers, bonytails, and chubs who had adapted to its conditions over eons of time could survive in its murky waters.

The need to protect these native endangered fish is the highest priority of the National Park Service. That does not change the fact that abundant game fish now thrive in the clear waters of Lake Powell. Introduced species such as bass and crappie as well as walleye, bluegill, and catfish challenge the avid fisherman.

 

Lake Powell Fishing

Lake Powell is filled with enough fishing holes to keep any angler busy, but you should know where fishing is prohibited before dropping your line.

Check USGS Water Data for Lake Powell. Check the launch ramp webcams for real time conditions.

Licenses

Lake Powell straddles the border of Utah and Arizona, so make sure you have a valid Utah and/or Arizona fishing license. It is your responsibility to know and follow each state’s laws and rules for Lake Powell.

AZ portion: All persons 10 years of age and older must have a valid fishing license.
UT portion: All persons 11 years of age and older must have a valid fishing license.
If you have a valid Utah or Arizona fishing or combination license—whether you are a resident or nonresident—you may fish both the Utah and Arizona portions of the lake, as long as you follow the angling regulations that apply to the state where you are fishing.

2020 Possession Limits

  • Striped Bass: no limit
  • Largemouth Bass: 5
  • Smallmouth Bass: 20 total
  • Crappie: 10
  • Walleye: no limit
  • Channel Catfish: 25
  • Bluegill: 50
 

Colorado River Fishing

Arizona fishing license required. Youth under the age of 10 may fish without a license. Visit Arizona Game & Fish for full regulations.

Check USGS Water Data for the Colorado River at Lees Ferry.

From Glen Canyon Dam to the beginning of Paria Riffle (Lees Ferry)

  • Limit 2 rainbow trout per day.
  • There is no limit on other sport fish species which includes all species of bass (including sunfish and stripers), all species of catfish, all species of trout other than rainbow trout, and walleye.
  • Artificial fly and lure only (visual attractants). Any use of baits, scents, or scent impregnated worms, living or dead organisms, artificial salmon eggs, artificial corn, artificial marshmallows are prohibited.
  • Barbless hooks only. Hooks may be clipped off or bent over.
  • Rainbow trout taken from this portion of the Colorado River shall be killed and retained as part of the bag limit or immediately released.
  • The area immediately below Glen Canyon Dam, posted with buoys, is closed to entry. It is the angler’s responsibility to know what regulations apply to the body of water they are fishing.

From Paria Riffle to Navajo Bridge

  • The limit is 6 rainbow trout per day.
  • Trout taken from this portion of the Colorado River shall be killed and retained as part of the bag limit or immediately released.
  • There is no limit on other sport fish species which includes all species of bass (including sunfish and stripers), all species of catfish, all species of trout other than rainbow trout, and walleye.

From Navajo Bridge to Separation Canyon
Including all tributaries within Grand Canyon National Park

  • There is no limit on sport fish species which includes all species of bass (including sunfish and stripers), all species of catfish, all species of trout, and walleye.
 
Sign and brush attached to metal grate
Wader Cleaning Stations are available in the Lees Ferry area.

NPS

Clean. Drain. Dry.

Because quagga mussels have been confirmed both above and below the dam, and New Zealand mudsnails are in the river below the dam, all boaters and fishermen must clean, drain, and dry their boats and all equipment after contact with these waters.

Educate yourself on the threats of aquatic invasive species (AIS) and state regulations in place to prevent their spread. In addition to ecological impacts, quagga mussels have devastating financial impacts on marina infrastructure and boats.

 
Drawing of a striped fish.
Striped bass. Consumption advisory for this fish are in effect due to mercury levels.

Lake Powell Mercury Consumption Advisory

Public Health, Environmental and Wildlife agencies from Utah and Arizona jointly issued a mercury fish advisory for striped bass in the southern portion of Lake Powell from Dangling Rope Marina to the dam. Read more from the Utah Department of Environmental Quality.

No other fish found in Lake Powell or the Colorado River below Glen Canyon Dam have a consumption advisory at this time.

Last updated: April 1, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 1507
Page, AZ 86040

Phone:

(928) 608-6200
Receptionist available at Glen Canyon Headquarters from 7 am to 4 pm MST, Monday through Friday. The phone is not monitored when the building is closed.

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